A World at War

Fleeing East London

"...imminent German bombers coming."

"Well, I do remember hearing the radio broadcast because the very next day my father, who could rent his cab—he had to pay the owner of the cab, but he could rent it himself—he took us away into the country, right away. Because the government announcement warned of imminent German bombers coming. And so he took us up to Norfolk—about one hundred and fifty miles into the countryside from East London—and we stayed there for about six weeks. But of course the bombing didn’t start. The government had warned, but it didn’t happen right away. And somehow—and I don’t know quite how this worked—but we wound up living with the village clergyman. And so they were looking for a replacement maid. And so my mother jumped into this. And because they had the room to take her and two kids, my brother and myself. My sister, who was nearly fourteen years of age and would be going out to work very soon, she went back to London with my father. So we stayed with this clergyman for four to six weeks. I don’t know exactly how. But, my mother was made their master slave. And of course my mother is a bit feisty, and she didn’t like that. And since no bombing was happen—my father rented the cab again and came and took us back."